A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Cornbread and Poppy have opposite personalities, which gives young readers many opportunities to compare and contrast. The book is an early reader, which is beneficial for kids becoming independent readers.
Be yourself. It's good to try new things. Don't take your friends for granted. Sharing is caring.
Positive Role Models
Cornbread and Poppy are great friends, despite their differences. They support each other and take care of each other when necessary. Though they have a fight that involves yelling and screaming, they realize how important they are to each other and resolve the conflict, agreeing to share.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cornbread & Poppy at the Carnival is a follow-up to Cornbread & Poppy by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell (Wolf in the Snow). Like Book 1, it's an early reader with simple text and illustrated pages. In three chapters -- "The Best News Ever," "The Carnival," and "The Peanut," Cordell tells a story of friendship that builds on themes present in the first book, like accepting differences and facing fears. This story emphasizes the differences between the title characters, giving young readers plenty of opportunities to practice skills like compare and contrast and analyzing character.
Is It Any Good?
Young readers will fall in love with the expanding Cornbread & Poppy series, especially as they grow as independent readers. Reminiscent of classic early readers like the Frog and Toad books, Cornbread & Poppy at the Carnival emphasizes important ideals about friendship -- like opposites attract and sharing is caring -- and does so through characters that young readers will relate to and root for.
The conflict that emerges in the third chapter, however, seems unrelated to the story and makes the ending feel a bit random. Up to that point, readers were likely expecting the story to climax with a conflict that seemed to be developing all along: While Poppy is more excited about the carnival, Cornbread seems to have a more thrilling time, causing what could be perceived (or could have been developed as) feelings of jealousy from Poppy. Nevertheless, the peanut conflict, and the story as a whole, will give families plenty to discuss as they await another book in the series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.